Start Submission

Reading: Women Creatives and Machismo in Mexican Advertising: Challenging Barriers to success


A- A+
Alt. Display

Articles | Artículos

Women Creatives and Machismo in Mexican Advertising: Challenging Barriers to success


Marta Mensa ,

Austral University, CL
About Marta
Marta Mensa is

Marta Mensa is Assistant Professor at Communication Social Institute of Austral University (Chile), and Post-doc on gender and Mexican advertising culture at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Her most recent publication is Latin American and its influence on global creative advertising. In Crawford, Robert & Brennan, Linda (Ed.), Global Advertising Practice in a Borderless World (pp.73-87), New Zelanda (Australia): Taylor & Francis Group.

X close

Jean Grow

Marquette University, US
About Jean
Jean M. Grow is a Professor and Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion at Marquette University. Her two most recent publications are: "Exploring Gender Bias: Anglo-American Echoes in Swedish Advertising Creative Departments,” Feminists, Feminisms, and Advertising: Some Restrictions Apply (2017), Kim Golombinsky and Peggy Kreshel (eds.), Lexington/Rowman, N.Y. and “American Advertising and the Politics of Consumption,” Global Advertising Practice in a Borderless World (2017), Robert Crawford and Linda Brennan(eds.), Routledge, N.Y.
X close


This study explores the experiences of women working as creatives in Mexican advertising creative departments. It is based on 22 in-depth interviews and suggests that these women face significant challenges within the machismo culture, which permeates Mexican advertising creative departments. Mexico plays an important role in global advertising, particularly in Latin America, but in this country female workers only represent five per cent of those working in creative departments. This is the first study focused on Mexican women creatives in advertising, highlighting the confluence of advertising women creatives and Mexican culture. Analysis reveals ten subcategories which articulate the horizontal and vertical barriers women creatives in Mexico face. Additionally, two broad workplace cohorts emerge: “old glories,” the misogynist men creatives who have historically managed advertising creative departments; and “forward thinkers,” young women and men who work side-by-side within advertising creative departments, disregarding or embracing gender differences. The findings, contextualized by cultural and organizational feminist theories as well as power theory, expose a machismo environment within Mexican advertising creative departments. 


Resumen: Creativas y machismo en la publicidad mexicana: Eliminando barreras hacia el éxito

Este estudio explora las experiencias de mujeres que trabajan en los departamentos creativos de las agencias de publicidad en México. Se han realizado 22 entrevistas en profundidad que sugieren que las creativas enfrentan desafíos significativos dentro de la cultura machista que impregna los departamentos creativos publicitarios. México desempeña un papel importante en la publicidad global, particularmente en América Latina, sin embargo, en este país, solo existe el 5 por ciento de mujeres creativas. Este es el primer estudio enfocado en mujeres creativas publicitarias mexicanas teniendo en cuenta el contexto cultural de México. El análisis revela diez subcategorías que articulan las barreras horizontales y verticales que enfrentan las mujeres creativas de este país. Además, surgen dos tendencias en el lugar de trabajo: old glories, hombres misóginos creativos que históricamente han administrado los departamentos creativos publicitarios y forward thinkers, mujeres y hombres jóvenes que trabajan codo con codo dentro del departamentos sin tener en cuenta las diferencias de género. Los hallazgos están contextualizados por los estudios culturales, las teorías feministas organizacionales y las teorías del poder, exponen la existencia de un ambiente machista en los departamentos creativos publicitarios mexicanos. 

How to Cite: Mensa, M., & Grow, J. (2019). Women Creatives and Machismo in Mexican Advertising: Challenging Barriers to success. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (107), 27–53. DOI:
Published on 29 Mar 2019.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)